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North East and North Cumbria success in increasing Join Dementia Research registrations

Following successful recent promotion, the North East and North Cumbria region has seen a positive uplift in the volume of registrations to Join Dementia Research. The service, which connects registered volunteers with dementia researchers across the UK, has seen the highest regional number of registrations to date (3,526).

The service runs on a national scale, and collaborates with The Alzheimer’s Society, Alzheimer’s Research UK, and Alzheimer’s Scotland. Working alongside GP practices, Research Champions, and pharmacies, the service aims to spread the word about the latest Dementia Research, encouraging as much contribution from a wide range of participants as possible.

When people sign up to Join Dementia Research, the information they provide is used to match them to studies that they may be able to take part in, both online, nationally and in their local area. The service connects registered volunteers with dementia researchers across the UK who are looking for people to join their studies. Supporters can review their study matches once registered and decide whether to take part.

Dementia affects more than 850,000 people in the UK. By taking part, the thousands of volunteers are making a real difference to the future of dementia care, diagnosis and treatment. Research can help professionals to understand what causes dementia diseases, develop effective treatments and improve the care of those living with dementia.

To further support the service and as part of the wider service promotion, the NIHR Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria Dementia speciality, Primary Care and Engagement teams have been collaborating to increase sign-ups. Members of the teams have attended Dementia Research Conferences and events, directly promoting the work of Join Dementia Research. The teams also organised a mass text message campaign with GP Practices, and engaged with a number of local schools to educate and raise participation. GP Practices have typically been the biggest contributor to the increased registrations, due to their reliability and trust gained from patients. This campaign contributed to over 12,000 new registrations to the overall service within the last 4 quarters – an all-time high for the service.

As well as increasing overall registrations, the service has seen a rise in the number of people who are directly affected by dementia registering to take part. This will provide researchers with further opportunities to develop studies, and hopefully take big strides to creating new cures and prevention methods.

Steve Pratt, Research Delivery Manager for CRN NENC Dementia specialty said “Over the past 2 years we have seen record numbers of people signing up to Join Dementia Research across NENC. More than 1550 volunteers from across all parts of the region have registered since April 2022. 370 of these were volunteers with a diagnosis of dementia, which is greater than in the previous 8 years combined. This is testament to the hard work of all those involved with supporting access to dementia research across all settings in the region and those volunteers willing to support this vital initiative”.

Professor Caroline Wroe, Clinical Director for the NIHR Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria, said: ‘It’s great to see the efforts and hard work of our Primary Care Team in promoting the Join Dementia Research service are seeing such positive impacts and improvements to an important cause. Dementia can affect us all, so it’s vital we continue to support research in this area in any way possible. A huge thank you to our local Primary Care Team, the charities involved, and all of the GP practices that have contributed.’

Join Dementia Research continues daily to support those in need with dementia. Find out more about the fantastic work they do on the Join Dementia Research website.